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Bieber case is a reminder of the risk of deportation

Many immigrants live quiet lives of dignity far from the public spotlight. They usually face many struggles, ranging from getting work visas to trying to adjust their status. For undocumented immigrants, all of this takes place with the fear of possible deportation always just below the surface.

Sometimes, however, the plight of a high-profile immigrant can showcase the problems of immigrants more generally.

And so, in this post, we will discuss the recent arrest of Justin Bieber, the young singer and entertainer who is at risk of deportation after a drunk-driving arrest.

Bieber shot to fame a few years ago while still in his teens. Even now, in 2014, he is still too young to drink legally.

Last week, however, police in Florida arrested him for driving while impaired. He was unable to pass a field sobriety test and police said he cursed at the officer who performed the traffic stop.

The charge against Bieber is only a misdemeanor. But the fact that he is a Canadian citizen, rather than a U.S. citizen, has raised an immigration issue on top of the criminal justice case.

Bieber is in the U.S. on OP-1 visa. This is a visa that is commonly known as a performer’s visa.

If his legal troubles escalate, it is possible that Bieber could be deported. Police suspect he may have egged his neighbor’s house in California and there has been speculation of drug activity. It is unclear whether either of those incidents will lead to felony charges.

The case shows that even a high-profile immigrant can face possible deportation, just as undocumented people do. Though Bieber has nonpermanent resident status, he could be deported if convicted of a felony offense.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “What would it take for Justin Bieber to get deported?” Matt Pearce, Jan. 23, 2014

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